Thursday, July 28, 2011

All about rhythm and leads

Am quite pleased with myself this week.  I haven't ridden an extravagant amount as I would have liked however I have gotten a good bit accomplished this week.  I got the pasture scooped before the (blissful, wonderful) rain came last night, I have mapped out where our pasture extension will go this weekend and the house is pretty clean.  I need a ribbon or something.

I did ride last night with RB3 and worked with the TWH.  Our next show is Aug 21 at a hunt/jump fun show and need to get him consistent over fences.  When jumping he regularly swaps leads making it difficult to be a serious contender.  Now that I am confident he is fit enough to do this again, back to arena work we go.  After a warmup I placed two poles on the ground three 18' canter strides apart and cantered over them without an issue.  Oh boy, I think, this shall be super easy!  I grabbed a couple of standards and made the first pole a 12" jump, just enough to lift it off of the ground and make TWH "do" something.

Alas that was the trick and suddenly the TWH couldn't keep his lead anymore.  He lands on the wrong lead or lands on the wrong lead in the rear.  He also kept going faster and faster, making my 3 stride a 2 or 2.5 stride.  Hmmm, I went back to cantering around the arena and lengthened and shorted his striding.  He doesn't have a collected canter, only a working and extended canter so I worked on shifting his gears and went back to our poles.  I very sternly informed him that he shall not speed up over the fences and shall remain in a nice working canter and that seemed to do the trick.  TWH went over the jump and pole and did not switch leads.  Victory!  We did this three more times and called it a night, at least I found the loophole in the training.  I just keep him "in a box" while jumping as he doesn't have either the strength or experience to carry himself over multiple jumps.  I can do that.

While riding the TWH, the App pulled a stunt I haven't seen him do in years.  He offered a mini buck!  Yikes, not sure if RB3 was doing something that caused this behavior or if it was him being moody but it is not acceptable.  I had her ride him a little harder and App was a bit too forward for her and she said he wasn't listening to her.  I had her jump on the TWH to cool him off and I gave the App got a quick schooling.  He had to be reminded that canter does not equal almost gallop and trot does not mean stop whenever you feel like.  Also when a transition or halt is asked for, I expect it within 2 steps and not 10-15 and a second or third reminder.  This is my fault, I haven't been riding the App in the arena so he isn't as sharp with his cues as he should be and RB3 isn't familiar enough with the horse or my cues to know exactly what to expect so the App is fully taking advantage of her.

Next course of action?  I didn't get to ride this AM as, despite getting up on time, I got sucked into reading blogs at 6a this morning (bad me, bad, bad, bad) and didn't go outside until 630a.  I may ride tonight if SO rides his bike else I have my sights set on tomorrow morning.  Going to ride App and remind him that being obedient is the acceptable answer and challenging or flat out ignoring is not.  I have a fun trail ride scheduled for Sunday morning, am meeting someone that is a member of ACTHA for the first time and RB3, myself and the new gal are going on the trail I rode on last weekend.  Here's to hoping for nice weather and few bugs!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun! I'm so happy you're finally meeting some horse people. :)

    Good job figuring out TWH's problem. Now that you've found something that works it shouldn't take too long to fix the problem. He'll just have to build up the strength to do it without the extra support. Keep up the great work!